20 Mar 2018

The specially created series of events and activities – part of the zoo’s PLAY! season – have been inspired by family favourite animal tales.

Surrounded by more than 21,000 incredible animals and thousands of beautiful plants, the zoo is hoping the programme will get young creative minds wandering and inner storytellers exploring.

Every day from 24 March to 15 April, Little Monkeys (three to five year olds) can begin their zoo visit with morning story time, before joining in with ‘Sing Along Stories’.

Families can also join the Zoo Rangers for a special story in a range of unusual locations around the zoo, put on dancing shoes as part of Giraffe Dance workshops, or stumble across surprise animal stories from a secret explorer storyteller.

On Saturday 7 April, Lydia Monks will deliver a day of What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday illustration workshops and introduce visitors to the ladybird’s new zoo-animal friends and the clever crime-busting ladybird herself who will be on holiday at Chester Zoo! Lydia Monks is an award-winning children’s book illustrator who has several bestselling books including the What the Ladybird Heard adventures, written by Julia Donaldson, and the brilliantly warm and witty Twit Twoo School stories.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday 3 and Monday 9 April, an ensemble from the Hallé Orchestra will take visitors on a mesmerising journey through Borneo to meet some friends of the forest. Set in the zoo’s 360 degree immersive space in the zoo’s Islands zone, the intimate event will transport visitors to the rainforest to experience a day in the life of an orangutan.

Charlotte Smith, Head of Discovery and Learning at Chester Zoo, said: 

“We are a conservation charity, but conservation can be fun too. We hope this series of PLAY! Stories will help to inspire the conservationists of the future.

“We’re calling on families to join us this Easter and let their imagination run wild. There are stories in everything! Help us bring animal stories to life through dance, music, art and performance. Immerse yourself in the different sights, sounds, colours and shapes of Chester Zoo.”

The Orangutan: a search for survival through the trees’ event with the Halle Orchestra cost £3 on top of normal zoo admission and must be booked in advance. Places are limited.

All other events are free with normal zoo admission and available to drop in on the day. For a full programme of activities – and to book tickets – visit PLAY! at Chester Zoo.